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Are We Becoming The Morlocks?

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What better way to deepen our economic woes and tighten the death grip of the elites on our nation than to shortchange primary and secondary education with budget cuts and price higher education out of the range of the middle class?

Public school systems, beaten down by years of propaganda which convinced voters to refuse to pass necessary tax hikes, are finding themselves charging parents of students who want to pick up an instrument, and putting up bulletin boards in school lobbies with pleas from teachers for donations of crayons and paper. The radicals on the right, fearful of an educated middle class, campaigned relentlessly against local tax increases, and foolish voters, the very people who benefit from better education, were sucked into the maelstrom of the the downward spiral of our society and economy.

Our institutions of higher learning have become little more than debt pits. Ever-increasing tuition and sweetheart deals with financial institutions guarantee that those who manage to gain admission will exit with a crushing burden of debt which will haunt the graduate for much of her adult life.

In the past ten years, college tuition has risen by over 50 percent. How did this happen? Million-dollar-plus salaries and perks for administrators, gladiatorial monuments for sporting events which occur sporadically, a textbook industry mired in the 18th century, and a society which has failed to recognize the value of intellect, relying instead on mysticism and blind faith.

President Barack Obama, speaking at a community college in Michigan, said his administration would spend billions to shore up the infrastructure of the nation's 2-year degree-granting institutions, but left the tuition crisis out of his speech. Meanwhile the state’s Republican-controlled legislature was busy trying to kill the state's Michigan Promise program, which guarantees any student in the state a $4,000 grant if they manage to load themselves up with debt and complete two years at one of the state’s institutions of higher learning.

Colleges and universities need to realize that they cannot keep drawing from the tuition well to pay for the ego-boosting salaries of their presidents and sports directors. Nor does it make sense to erect monumental structures to play games while they impoverish students and their families.

Our national legislators invest money into failed financial corporations, firms which have missed the technological rocket as it whizzed by, and a military-industrial complex which foists off unneeded and bloated weapons projects on the government.

It is all enough to make you think that the one percent at the top of our society really does have some secret plan to turn the 99 percent into a race of Wellsian Morlocks.

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About jimwalrod

  • jamminsue

    Well put!

  • Doug Hunter

    How would you suggest your average voter determine a ‘necessary’ from an ‘unnecessary’ tax hike? I see the schools and local public colleges year after year coming back for more bond elections. Those never lead to better teacher pay, they usually end up with some well connected contractor getting a windfall to add to or renovate buildings (and yes often to improve sporting facitilies way beyond what I feel is necessary). Bureacrats, school superintendents, and presidents get a jewel on their resume based on how much they can increase spending/funding, needed or not.

    Another issue that paints my view is that most of these government entities are tied to taxes on a percentage basis. If x% of the taxes or less has funded the school well for 30 years why would they need to constantly grow the percentage? In most cases the tax base has grown faster than the population as real estate prices have skyrocketed, commercial districts grown, families have less children, etc. Why is the government constantly seeming to do less and ask for more.

    It’s like the reverse of the free market’s economy of scale. Government costs more percentagwise as it’s scope grows. (ie. big city government cost more per capita than small ones and provide very few additional services, big school districts spend more per pupil than little ones with often worse results)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/realist Realist

    You miss the purpose of “higher” education. Those “gladiatorial” arenas are the true venue of education, for if you don’t fight for something to better society, you will fight just to keep what you have from the troglodytes who make the most use of those facilities. Learn that lesson now, and see if you can’t teach something more benficial to the next generation.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jim –

    My nephew – who grew up in the slums of Manila – graduated from a college in the Philippines with a psychology degree, was immediately snapped up by Shell Oil, and in less than six months he was on a plane (in business class, dammit!) to Amsterdam to give training!

    My oldest son just graduated this past April with a Business Management degree in the Philippines, and he’s being groomed here in America to run a call center overseas.

    Neither one paid more than $300/semester total for tuition, books, and fees.

    That’s just another of the several reasons why I reject what I was taught by my deeply conservative family when I was young: “America’s the only place where you can be happy and successful!”

  • http://www.joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    I’m thinking they should get the same amount and cut the waste.

    In Detroit, the cost per student per year is right around $15K. $15K! It’s because the school district is wasting money and is top heavy with dead weight employees. (In fact, the district disburses paychecks for people who are not on the rolls. Figure that out.) Even ritzy chi-chi districts like Grosse Pointe and Bloomfield Hills don’t spend that kind of money. And the sad thing is that only about 1/3 graduate.

    If a student wants to learn, they will overcome finances and find a way. If not, we’re just paying for glorified babysitting services.

  • Clavos

    “America’s the only place where you can be happy and successful!”

    I was told:

    “You can be happy and successful wherever you are; happiness and success come from within and are up to you.”

    It’s turned out to be true; I’ve never been unhappy yet, and I’m pretty successful so far in my life — at least I’ve achieved everything I’ve set out to do.